© kimi eisele
My work aims to dissolve the perceived separation between humans and the natural world. When we see something as distant, other, or simply utilitarian, we tend to care less for it. I create and produce gatherings, performances, and stories that help us feel kinship with other species and our inherent belonging in/as nature. I feel an amplified urgency to make work that addresses climate change and its impacts on both human and natural communities, which I see as inextricably connected.
I have directed multiple dance projects for New ARTiculations Dance Theatre, exploring issues such as endangered species (Rosemont Ours, 2013), water (FLOW, 2012), urban revitalization (The Invisible City, 2008), and food systems (We Are What We Eat, 2008). Recent projects include: Suspended, a interactive installation/performance exploring human-animal behavior, light, shadow, and forests, presented at the Tucson Museum of Art; and Standing with Saguaros, a year-long project bringing participatory activities, innovative storytelling, and performance to Saguaro National Park in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. I am also a co-founder and member of Movement Salon, an improvisational performance group that incorporates dance, spoken word, and live music to create ephemeral compositions.
My essays and articles about globalization, US-Mexico border issues, the environment, health and the arts have been published in literary magazines, anthologies, and online news outlets. My novel, THE LIGHTEST OBJECT IN THE UNIVERSE, about loss and adaptation in a post-apocalyptic America, is forthcoming from Algonquin Press.
Also a visual artist, I make photographs, papercuttings, and shadow puppet theater about wildlife, and the human body. I hold an MA in geography from the University of Arizona where in 1998 I founded you are here: the journal of creative geography (still in publication!).
I was the 2014 recipient of the “Lumie” Award for Established Artist from the Tucson Pima Arts Council and the Arizona Commission on the Arts annual Artist Project Grant (2012). My work has been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kresge Foundation, the Arts Foundation of Southern Arizona (formerly Tucson Pima Arts Council), and others. I have been a resident artist at Djerassi, Blue Mountain Center, the Mesa Refuge, the Rasmuson Resident Artist Program with the Island Institute in Sitka, AK, and was the Centennial Artist-in-Residence in Saguaro National Park.
I have taught creative writing and dance in schools, communities, and institutions for over a decade. I am a writer/editor at the Southwest Folklife Alliance, dedicating to preserving and celebrating traditional knowledge and cultural expression in the Greater Southwest.
I am available to work with communities, organizations, and schools, offering presentations, classes/workshops, or residencies, or to help design and implement arts engagement strategies.
I also work as a writer/editor. My services are outlined at WordWork by Kimi.
Cohort, Catalyst Initiative, Center for Performance and Civic Practice. 2017.
Recipient, New Works Grant, Arts Foundation for Southern Arizona. 2017
Centennial Artist-in-Resident, Saguaro National Park, Tucson, AZ. 2016.
Artist-in-residence, Island Institute/Rasumson Resident Artist Fellows Program, Sitka, AK. 2015.
Resident, Djerassi Resident Artist Program. Woodside, CA. 2014
Established Artist, Tucson Pima Arts Council “Lumie” Award. 2014
Recipient, New Works Grant, Tucson Pima Arts Council. 2013
Recipient, New Works Grant, Tucson Pima Arts Council. 2012
Recipient, Artist Project Grant, Arizona Commission on the Arts. 2012.
Resident, Blue Mountain Center Artist Program, Blue Mountain, NY.
Resident, Mesa Refuge. Pt. Reyes Station, CA. 2008
Dynamic Duo Award for “Making a Difference” (with photographer Josh Schachter), Compass Health Care, Tucson, AZ. Sept. 05
Roster Artist, Creative Writing, Arizona Commission on the Arts. Sept. 05-present.